The Truth About Celia: Book summary and reviews of The Truth About Celia by Kevin Brockmeier

The Truth About Celia

By Kevin Brockmeier

The Truth About Celia
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2004,
    240 pages.

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Book Summary

While playing alone in her backyard one afternoon, seven-year-old Celia suddenly disappears while her father Christopher is inside giving a tour of their historic house and her mother Janet is at an orchestra rehearsal.

Utterly shattered, Christopher, a writer of fantasy and science fiction, withdraws from everyone around him, especially his wife, losing himself in his writing by conjuring up worlds where Celia still exists—as a child, as a teenager, as a young single mother—and revealing in his stories not only his own point of view but also those of Janet, the policeman in charge of the case, and the townspeople affected by the tragedy, ultimately culminating in a portrait of a small town changed forever. The Truth About Celia is a profound meditation on grief and loss and how we carry on in its aftermath.

First published in hardcover in 2003 by Pantheon

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The fragmented narration may deflect some readers, but others will cherish Brockmeier's seductive turns of phrase and sharp imagination." - Publishers Weekly

"This is a novel of devastation and whimsical possibility." - Booklist

"Devastating and dazzling; in its painful fusion of pathos, fantasy and - ultimately - realism, Brockmeier's heartbreaking book is reminiscent of The Lovely Bones." - Time Out

"Together, the eight stories, ranging from psychological realism to science fiction to supernatural fantasy, fall somewhere between a linked collection and a full-fledge novel, and their unvarying gracefulness takes some of the bite out of the sadness–perhaps to much. They go down more easily than, given the subject, they ought to." - The New York Times Book Review

"Fierce and tightly imagined. ...The Truth About Celia has all the austere ache of a cello suite. ...[Brockmeier] proves himself a master of compassionate reach." - The Boston Globe

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Author Information

Kevin Brockmeier Author Biography

Photo: Ben Krain

In addition to his most recent work, A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip, Kevin Brockmeier is the author of the novels The Illumination, The Brief History of the Dead, and The Truth About Celia; the story collections Things That Fall from the Sky and The View from the Seventh Layer; and the children's novels City of Names and Grooves: A Kind of Mystery. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He has published his stories in such venues as The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, McSweeney's, Zoetrope, Tin House, The Oxford American, The Best American Short Stories, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and New Stories from the South. He has recieved the Borders Original Voices Award, three O. Henry Awards (one, a first prize), the PEN USA Award, a ...

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Name Pronunciation
Kevin Brockmeier: BROCK-my-er

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